Being a parent can be a challenge at the best of times but when you are a young parent living in a damp, insecure and infested flat far away from your support network, it can be really difficult.

This is just the situation that Rosie, 22, and her partner Connor found themselves in. Along with their son Rio they had been moved into emergency accommodation in Eastbourne. Not only was it full of mould and damp but the front door wouldn’t lock and there were gaps in the windows. Not to mention the distance from their family network in Brighton.

Their housing situation was really getting them down, with Rosie constantly worrying about Rio getting ill and Connor having an allergic reaction to the mould. So when they were offered a place to live in Gocher Court in Brighton, they accepted after coming to have a look around.

Gocher Court is one of two schemes in Brighton offering a safe, secure place to live along with support for young parents and families. Customers can stay up to two years and get help to improve their independent living skills ready to move into their own accommodation in the local community.

It wasn’t necessarily Rosie’s first choice, after all she was 21 and didn’t think she needed much support, but she has been really impressed with the help they have received:

The support has been amazing. The staff give much more than they need to and they make it so much easier than it could be. It changes your point of view when you move in. We’re really lucky to get this opportunity and get a place here.

As young parents there’s enough pressure as it is. When I moved in I thought I would just be left to get on with it but that couldn’t be further from the truth, all the staff have been fantastic, especially my keyworker Jackie.

I used to be terrible with money. Now I have a money journal and budget my money carefully – writing down everything I spend. They have taught me healthy eating and so many other things. Jackie is like a security blanket; I could be in trouble with my council tax or water and Jackie can help me straight away.

Rosie now works full time as a carer and Connor is a stay-at-home dad. She is working towards her nursing qualification and meets with her NVQ specialist every week, hoping to qualify in 2020. And despite working shifts, she is always around to give Rio his evening meal and put him to bed.

The next step is to move on into their ‘forever home’:

We’re ready to move on – that’s all I want now. I have about one more month left before Jackie will put in my nomination for Home Move. After that I will be bidding for a property for us to move into. 

God knows what would have happened if we weren’t offered this place. The previous place was putting a strain on our relationship and Rio was always getting ill. The service here is amazing and I am so thankful for the help we’ve been given. Not every young parent gets this opportunity so if you do, just grab it!

For more information about our Brighton Young Parent’s service, click here.